The Americas travel blog

We leave at 9.30 in the Hotel Van. There is an English couple we are dropping off at the catamaran as they are travelling by boat to the start of the trek they are doing. There is also Alan, an American, who did a marathon here earlier in the week and he is changing to Los Torres Hotel, outside of the Park and nearer a mountain he is going to climb on Saturday. He had a chat to us too and didn't like Lago Grey Hotel either. It is really windy today but this has worked out well for us as the Torres del Paine and Cuernos del Paine, are now free of clouds and we can see the distinctive layers of the lighter coloured granite and the darker metamorphic rocks that Josie was explaining yesterday. The wind has whipped up the turquoise water of the Pehoe Lake and it's spraying everywhere. Wild Patagonia at its best!

We leave the Park and after a while Alan starts to get fidgety as he thinks the driver has gone past his Hotel. He tries to tell the driver, who does not speak English but he shrugs him off. We get to 66 kms from Puerto Natales and the driver stops at some roadworks and figures out he should have dropped Alan off ages ago. He is apologetic but Alan is not impressed. Alan will have had an extra 3 hours in the vehicle doing a round trip into Puerto Natales when he didn't have to.

We arrive at Kau Lodge where we stayed before and fortunately they have our old room available tonight. We couldn't book anything from Lago Grey as the wifi didn't work. The staff at Kau Lodge were excellent when we explained Phil was in pain and needed a doctor. They immediately rang a taxi and helped Phil out to it and we went to the Puerto Natales Hospital. Our luck was better here as a lady at Reception speaks good English. She took all the details and we waited about an hour or so before Phil had his blood pressure taken and then another half an hour before he saw a Doctor. The Doctor explained that he was suffering nerve pain and that was why Panadol and Voltaren weren't working. He sent a nurse in and Phil was given an IV of pain medication for about 30 minutes. He was also prescribed some tablets to take over the next week. The Doctor said follow up would be required if the pain got worse. When we left there were no taxis at the entrance to the Hospital so I had to go to a nearby street to try and hail one. I got one and tried to explain my husband was at the hospital entrance and we had to pick him up. Something got lost in translation and the driver went past the gate to get back into the Hospital grounds. I screamed at him so he stopped and then I had to run back to find Phil. Phil by this time managed to walk to a corner where we got a taxi together to the Pharmacy and then back to the Hotel.

We ate lunch at 4pm in the lovely cafe of the Lodge. The wonderful girl at Reception offered to change our bus booking for tomorrow, to an earlier time, so we can get back to Punta Arenas to catch our flight on Sunday. She lived in Perth for a year when she was studying English so we had a chat about Australia. All the staff are so helpful and very concerned about Phil. This place has lovely homely feel which is so different to Lago Grey Hotel.

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